Why antacids and the purple pill make heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD symptoms worse
If you ever felt heartburn or suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), it feels like you have too much acid, right? So the natural response is to reach for a couple of antacids or a pill to soothe the burn. But that’s actually a bad idea.
Because what doctors and all of those heartburn commercials fail to tell you is that painful burning sensation isn’t caused by having too much acid. It’s caused by having too little acid.
The irony is, when you chew antacids or take prescriptions like the purple pill, you increase the intensity and frequency of attacks over time.
In other words, typical heartburn remedies make your heartburn worse.
To understand why, let’s start by seeing…
Why heartburn feels like fire
There’s a little flap at the bottom of your esophagus where it connects to your stomach. This flap is called the lower esophageal sphincter. The flap usually works one-way as it allows food you swallow to enter your stomach, while keeping the acids safely contained.
The painful burning sensation you get from heartburn or GERD means your flap’s not closing properly. This allows the harsh stomach acids to leak up into your esophagus. As the acids hit the delicate lining of your esophagus, it creates the characteristic burn.
When stomach acid washes up your esophagus too often, it causes real damage over time. This damage leads to GERD.
How typical heartburn remedies make symptoms worse
Although popping a pill or chewing a few antacids help you feel better at first, the relief’s only temporary. While marketers want you to believe the pain’s caused by too much acid, now you know having too much acid isn’t the problem.
The problem is the flap letting acid through.
Here’s the real kicker: the reason acid’s getting through is because your stomach doesn’t have enough acid. Here’s why:
The real cause for the burn
When stomach acid levels are low, your digestive system conserves energy by relaxing the flap. This allows stomach acids to seep through. Low stomach acids also cause another problem.
With less acid, food sits in your gut longer, then starts to ferment. Much like trash rotting in a bin.
As the food ferments, it creates gas. The gas pushes up against your esophageal sphincter. This weakens the flap further, making it easier for stomach acid to flow up your esophagus.
That’s how low stomach acid causes heartburn, and eventually GERD.
As you can imagine, if the problem starts with low acid, taking remedies that lower your acid further will only make your problems worse.
But that’s not all. When you don’t have enough acid, you risk other health problems as:
• Your body’s starved of vital nutrients to keep your body healthy and help prevent premature aging
• Improperly broken down food goes into your intestines, where you can develop an allergy to the foods you love
• More harmful bacteria survives past your stomach, where they can cause more inflammatory and immune issues
Hooked on purple crack
You may have heard of the popular acid reflux medication called the purple pill (Nexium®). Many doctors call it “purple crack” because it works so well in relieving pain, people become addicted.
As with most common remedies, the purple pill doesn’t solve the problem, but it makes you feel better, so you’ll always need more. At $4/pill per day, purple crack costs patients an estimated $1500 each year.
If being addicted to suffering more doesn’t sound like a good plan, here’s how you can save money and let your digestion heal…
Natural ways to soothe heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD symptoms
You can’t take a pill to create more stomach acid, but you can help your digestion heal and strengthen. In turn, your symptoms calm down and become less frequent.
• Digestive enzymes help break down food to help you absorb more nutrients, and push food through your digestive system more easily. Look for a complete formula that breaks down fats, sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, and dairy.
• Probiotics help keep your bad bacteria from overtaking your gut. This helps calm digestive problems from constipation to Chron’s disease symptoms. And probiotics help reduce inflammation in your entire body while supporting your immune system. Look for high-quality formulas with at least 10 billion CFUs and several types of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains.
• Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) may help prevent and heal gastric ulcers. It also soothes the mucosa in the digestive tract. Make sure the sea buckthorn extract you find is rich in phytosterols, tocopherols and carotenoids. And that it includes both seed and pulp oil for maximum benefits.